Posts tagged ‘blog’

War Journal – 1 Swift Wings (ep29)

“I knew that I’d meet you again.” the frail looking, but robust Danarien smiled at Fathala as the Naga landed on deck. She had flown the last hundred meters to the Albin vessel, restlessness had gotten the best of her. “What happened to your polar friends?” immediately tears shot to Fathala’s eyes.

Stern and yet warmly she took the Naga’s hand. “That bad? Come.” she led her to the cooking fire, shooing off the other crew members.

All the hardship, love and loss, betrayal and sadness of the past weeks seemed to melt together into one big boulder if crushing feelings weighing Fathala down. Over a cup if Danarien’s tea she told the Albin all that had happened after she had left them, spilling out her heart and her secret with Eric. Only keeping to herself that she saw a Naga shaped, ghostly version of Eric. From the corner if her eyes she saw him sniffing the tea in the kettle. “We haven’t had much better fairings either, the storms around the pole knocked us about pretty good, and eventually we ended up badly damaged, leaking and with close to no sails left. It took us long to reach shore and begin repairs, and the modifications. But here we are.” she managed a smile. There had been casualties, three Naga, seven humans, three from the Norsers, four from Galnerra, and eight Albin. But no one Fathala knew particularly well.

“In any case,” Danarien turned to face the commander of the ship standing in the door, “we better get going, circumstances are dire.” Moments later commands were barked, followed by the sails snapping as air filled them once again. Smoothly the ship continued its voyage, leaving Eric’s small ship behind. Where might the others be? The order set out to send a small like this out. No word about them. Did they suffer at the winds of the storms?

“I recon they came off course and landed far away. Perhaps the fungal empire, or their small republican brothers. Mayhaps north east of the pole. Maybe south east.” Naga Eric stared out to the raging sea next to Fathala, leaned against the door frame. I hope you’re right my love.

Sunlight danced on top of the towering waves. Storm gusts hit the waters, spray flew against the hull of the ship. “Eerie weather, is it not?” Danarien stood next to Fathala. The unusual mixture of storm and sunshine irritated most of the crew. A bad omen they reconed.

“Not all.” a tranquil smile played around Fathala’s lips. “This is sunny weather here in our homeland.” Danarien knew it was the mixture of Eric and Fathala speaking. Between the towering waves every so often land appeared in sight. “Captain! East south east.” the voice of Naga fought against the thundering waves and winds, with success. Relaying the course corrections to the man at the rudder, the Captain was glad to have her on board, despite what other magic users thought of what she had done with Eric.

That way she knew her way around the pole.

Between foaming rocks a gap appeared in the coast. Beyond that gap the sea seemed a lot calmer. Navigating into the bay was like threading a needle, in a violent storm.

Fathala provided little information she had on the bay. “Fisher’s bay it’s called.” a crude map was spread on the tabpe before her, the captain and Danarien stood to her sides. Just like the people of fallhus, they had reacted with astonishment when she had donned her clothes again after they had finally dried. The arrow had left a hole in the cloth, as much as her skin and flesh. From time to time the cortorized wound itched, but Fathala ignored it.

“The village lies about here, some fifteen ships will be in there.” her finger pointed at the bay, not any particular point, “I expect they won’t exactly be forthcoming, they know no strangers from beyond the seas.” “Will they attack us?” Military thinking. Rightly so he’s a captain!

“Not like, they will mistrust you,” she paused, closed her eyes tooka deep breath of annoyance. “us. They won’t trust us.”, between Danarien and the Captain, Naga Eric slithered into the light of the lamp, smiling peacefully.

War Journal – 1 Swift Wings (ep28)

Around her the world began to shrink. No! Don’t lose consciousness! Not here, not now! Splashing her head into the icy waters she struggled on. Quickly she looked at the arrow in the cold light of her hand, let go of it. Another cry of pain filled the air as she jammed hand against the wound, a magical fireball in it to close the wound and stop the bleeding. Not my brightest idea! she cursed silently. Cooling her head once more she let go of the rock, swam away, eastward bound, as to avoid Leif and Whlana, who most certainly were looking for her by now. Will the brothers of the.order be able to stop him? Both Eric’s mental remnants and Fathala wondered.

“Do it.” the alabaster woman stood over Eric, her hands on his shoulders. “Our gift to this world awaits.” in Leif’s lap sat the Bane, sweating clouds of golden light. “No. She is out there. If she tells the.others, they’ll find a way to fight us, and they’ll descend upon us like the wrath of the heavens!” Whlana came round his.left side, like him she was naked, sweat dried on her skin, semen trickled down her inner thighs. “The bane could do away with the Sphinxes, they are most like he most powerful beings in existence. If they couldn’t fight its power, why should hey be able?” she smiled a peaceful smile. Leif’s glance fell on the trickle of semen. When she gave herself to him he could feel Whlana in there somewhere, resisting. It was not the same as in the other place with the alabaster woman. “It was mortals who made it, it will be mortals who’ll undo its effect.” he lectured. Taken aback by his reasoning her expression hardened. “Our gift can wait.” she agreed. “But do with her quickly.” again she took up place behind him in the great sanctuary hall, looking out through the waterfall.

“Please be swift.” Fathala thanked the Naga girl that took her message. She was about twelve, her mother and little sister spent the summer in the norh of the sea, but moved back to Naga’na in the cold winter months. Szihndaya vowed to abd hurried after her mother. The encounter had come as a relief to Fathala, after spending half a day in a ghost town, and an unknown amount of time in the air, contact with living, breathing Naga was more than welcome. After she found herself all alone in the icy waves once again Fathala felt lost. Tired she went to ground, allowing herself to rest for the night.Digging her stinger into the mud and rock of the sea floor he ensured not to be washed away by the currents, her wings drawn tightly around her she almost felt secure. “Go home. Tell them, and tell them to go through the archives, there must be an answer!” Eric stood before her, but his appearance was much changed. By all means he looked like a Naga man would look like if Fathala had to imagine one. His wings were ragged, but colored like liquid fire, his hand illuminating the ocean floor glowed more orange than the typical Naga blue. “You are a figment of my imagination, conjured up by my distressed mind.” she wanted to say, but beneath the waves she couldn’t speak.

“I am, true, but also the remnants of my memories and thoughts left in your mind, given form by both my memory of myself and your imagination.” his lips didn’t move when he spoke, but it didn’t feel like thoughts projected into her mind either. “However, go to the pole and tell them. Warn them.” “After I regained my strength.” she looked into his unaltered eyes, drinking in the warmth they spent. “Will you be here when I wake?””In a sense I’m always with you, and always will.” She felt as if she cradled her head on his curled up serpent like body. Just hold me and never let go. Never part my side again. Se fell asleep, deep, dark sleep without dreams.

Ravaged by wind and weather the small boat was not in the same condition that Fathala had last left it in, but still seaworthy. From Eric’s memories she knew how to operate it, maintain it. Within a day she had it ready to go to sea again. Since she couldn’t breathe saltwater, and the way to the pole was too long to fly, she decided to use Eric’s boat. I wonder whether the ithers nade it to the pole yet. Behind her the coast shrank to a thinner and thinner smudge on the horizon, vanished soon after. “Winds are with us, that’s good.” She glanced to stern, Naga Eric stood there, clearly enjoying the wind from the west. “Yes. But what will await us at the pole?” she had continued her way through the autumnly forests on wings rather than tail, that way she covered the path that took them close to three weeks in a few days. Originally she wanted to stay in Reedheim for a night, but the painful memories of her and Eric there was too much to bear, so she flew straight onward to the sea.

Besides, the fewer people she encountered, the better. For them. Leif might track her and might cause harm to anyone helping her. Seldom her glance fell west, afraid a light might shine through to her, taking her mind captive once again. Instead she continued east.

Within two weeks time she found a sail north east of her position. “That’s the ship we’ve met on.” Eric stood next to her as she stared at the distant canvas of cloth. “Still here?” she raised her eyebrows, fear grabbed a hold on her stomach. Leif!?

“No. They did not break through the storms around my home, sailed back to shore and refitted the ship like I told them to.” the plans he had drawn up for the crew for the ship came back to her mind. After following the sail for a while with her eyes she noticed that their course was bound to intercept hers before the much more violent seas. Taking the rudder firmly in her hand she hoped to reach them in time to meet with them. Still Leif might catch them wih he bane, but if they successfully reached the pole, he would turn on them in any case.

War Journal – 1 Swift Wings (ep27)

The building he led her to was a simple home deep.inside a tunnel alley, he found his way there with ease, and navigated inside with even more ease, almost as if he wasn’t blind. Within moments had he gathered a pair of pants, two shirts and undergarments. To her surprise he even.possessed a second pair of shoes. The glazed tiles of the main path reflected the lights from the lanterns. Keeping Liam to her right, away from the wall, Fathala felt an immense weight in her heart. The wall had been scaled. From the inside!Both of hem heard the thrum of a bow, followed by the unmistakable hissing of an arrow plowing through the air. As they turned towards the sound, Fathala felt Liam’s hand slipping out of hers as the boy was knocked back by the arrow. Whlana let lose a second one, killing Liam instantly by piercing his throat. She stood in the open door of one of the battlements. After Liam had fallen to the ground, silently gargling out his breath she let the bow sink. With cold detachment she stared at the dead boy with eyes of mother-of-pearl. That’s not Whlana any longer.”I knew I had seen a blind child here.” her smile was icy cold as her eyes. “And you were right.” Leif stepped into view from the door. “Now you’ll join the people of Fallhus.” Leif raised his right hand, his eyes had begun transforming as well, he too had mother-of-pearl in them, a stone like coldness to his expression. Melting clouds of light flowed from the bane in his hand, a flash took hold of Fathala’s senses. Unable to stop, unable to control anything from her body she slithered towards the two, turning right on top of the wall. Below her thousands of tiny waterfalls from the town fell into he deep, vanishing against rocks and a few bushes, and many hundreds of corpses.

Fathala plunged into the deep.

Icy wind blew around her nose, Fathala felt it also filling her wings. “You idiot.” remembered words echoed through her mind. “These Naga’s wings are designed to keep them in the air, or the water current!” apparently the woman taking hold on Whlana knew sweetwater Naga. Pain shot through her consciousness, an arrow stuck out of her abdomen, the bleeding however had stopped somewhen along her flight.

Around her was nothing but the sweetwater sea, she smelled it. At least I’m somewhere near home and not over salty seas. Enjoying the power of controlling her own body, Fathala folded her wings. The wind of her fall roared in her ears, the water below rushed towards her.

Equally fiercely roaring the waves closed above her, the cold woke the last bits of her body from the mind controlled numbness.Sucking in the cold water through her gills Fathala let herself drift in the currents of the sweetwater sea. He has become strong. Sadly for the wrong cause!

Her stinger touched ground, irritated Fathala swam to the surface. More waterfalls greeted her. But they were north of the sea, and tge currents dragged her to the thundering waters, would carry her south again. I’ve come far. How long was I out? Her hands sought for hold on the granite walls, found some. Clinging to the northern mountains she clumsily opened her clothes wih the other hand, found an obstacle. The arrow. For a little while she had forgotten it was there.

Hoping that it was an unaltered Albin arrow she dug her finger harder against the.rock, as she yanked the arrow from her body. A cry of pain echoed off the walls across the waves. She could smell her own blood, taste it in the back of her throat.

War Journal – 1 Swift Wings (ep26)

Carefully slithering along the mainroad she spied into the alleys, but as far as she could see there was no sign of life. Not even a dog or cat, or rat. The rodents had been active before, she had heard them in every corner of Fallhus. Following a broader Alley to the Inn she found the common room deserted, the smell from.he kitchen had changed from cooking smells to smoldering smells. By the intensity she could tell that the people had been gone for he better part of an hour. Slithering slowly onward to the tunnel that led to the sanctuary she found a barred an locked door. From above the city walls she had tried to see the sanctuary, but was not able to. Jeff did say it was overlooking the town, but not that it was an actual building. Might be it is a circle sanctuary hewn from the rock, with windows. Hesitantly she glanced over her shoulder. No one there to witness. Hissing and a crack followed her discharge at the doorlock. Screaming hinges made her shudder, again she looked around for anyone, but even the agonized shout of rusty metal had not brought forth any guards, or civilians. Next to the door was a small room in the rock, it had a straw bed in it, along with a table, two chairs and a privy. Softly the water below the privy murmured away. Gatehouse. Rising steeply the tunnel allowed for two people to walk it side by side, lit by only a few oillamps, on the opposite walls of the lamps depictions of men and a few women had been painted on the rock, but their features had washed away in the cold damp air of Fallhus. After a few minutes continuous thunder filled the tunnel, and Fathala realized why she hadn’t been able to see the sanctuary. Through a portal the tunnel led into a huge hall, several smaller tunnels led away from it into smaller halls, and more tunnels. On the east side of the great hall the wall was missing, replaced by a wall of thundering water. Se was now behind the great waterfall that gave Fallhus its name.No priest, no monk, no nun, or worshipers were about the hall and its adjacent rooms and tunnels. Carefully Fathala edged to waterfall and peeked down. A ledge was concealed just below the edge. Spray turned the dust and sand into a muddy mixture, recent footprints of two people who had been cowering there were well preserved although slowly fading. Leif and Whlana!Apart from the thundering the hall was silent, fragrances of frankincense and burning oil filled the cool air. Growing tenser by the minute she turned north, following one of the smaller tunnels to a series of small chambers in which small recesses were filled with urns. Running back a few generations families turned to these graves for closure. Further along a larger room with longer urn rows awaited her. She noticed that even here the water was omnipresent, small canals led out of the chambers after the water came from the walls. Once a generation longer in the living memory of its defendants they probably dump the ash into the water. In the.other tunnels she found only more chambers with urns, and water, ever accompanied by the thundering from below. Lastly she went to the tunnel that was next to the entrance of the great hall. No chambers were lined up like beads on a cord, at the end.of the tunnel was one larger room with a large table and chairs, adjacent a small room with a bed. The priest or mage lived here, with a large room to entertain guests. From a cupboard in the large room came a rattling sound, as quick as lighting she had whirled around, fire in her hand. A frightened pale face tried to hide in the lower part of the furniture but bumped against the door. “Don’t be afraid.” she tried to sound calming. “I’m not. But you sound afraid.” the.boy replied, Fathala waved the hand with the fire in it around to realize he was blind. “Well, somehow there is no one here. That frightens me a bit.” she let the fire go out. “I’m Fathala Sash’nohan, but you can call me Fathala. Who are you?” The blind boy clumsily crawled out of his hiding spot. “Liam Sanderson. Are you a snake lady?” Fathala had to smile at hia childish openness. “I am, so count yourself lucky that you’re a boy still.”An indifferent expression came to his face. “I’m ten, and I can’t see, my prospects of finding a wife and making a living outside begging are rather slim, don’t you think? If I were a grown blind man standing before a Naga, at least I could hope to be bedded once in my lifetime.” again Fathala was amused by his open words. He’s very mature for his age. The boy listened around and gently sniffed the air. “You want to know what happened, don’t you?” Nodding Fathala realized what an idiot she was. “Yes, please.””I was supping with my mother and her cousin, the priest. Although I’m blind he suggested that there might be a place for me within the circle. My mother always told me that if something odd happens I should hide. There was something odd.” Fathala slithered next to Liam as he walked into the common hall. “Suddenly, mid sentence both of them stopped talking, just for a moment, then they said something in a queer tongue, got up and marched off.” “You didn’t follow?” his hand was in her’s but he didn’t need guidance. Sure footed he was always one pace ahead of the Naga. “No. I wanted to at first, but since she always said that I ought to hide in case of weird things happening, I hid.” she could see shame in his eyes, but did not address it. He wanted to follow, but he was afraid.”Then I showed up after some time.” “Yes.” he confirmed, he had still been afraid when she came, but she was more silent in slithering than any man in walking, to better hear who he was dealing with, he came out of his spot. Still he sniffed the air when they reached the common hall. “I had told my mother that the halk smelled odd to me. She paid no mind. Now it smells normal again,” he turned to her. “Except for you that is.” he faintly smiled. They were hiding here, of course it smelled odd to him. “Listen, Liam, the entire town is empty, I will bring you down, to the sea, my sisters will take care of you bring you to Naga’na.” there was reluctance in his expression, but he knew that sooner or later he’d die all alone in Fallhus. “Can we go to my home and get some of my clothes? I doubt your kin will have boys clothing at hand.” the sadness in his voice was enough to.bring tears to Fathala’s eyes. He knew his mother, his uncle, his entire family was most like to be dead. Again she agreed verbally only after nodding, hoping her pity and tears were not showing in her voice. If they did, he chose not to react to it.

War Journal – 1 Swift Wings (ep25)

Fathala only managed to nod, a smile refused to come to her lips. “Tell this woman here of thw stranger and his Albin.” for a moment Fathala hadn’t noticed how the man referred to Whlana .”Well,” she looked the Naga up and down with a judging gaze. She wants to say that she sees no woman, but only a Naga. “he treated her kindly but she seemed to be a little slow of mind, if you know what I mean?” “No. Whlana was a member of the Albin forces, stationed at Naga’na. Before, she had not been slow of mind.” the woman rolled her eyes.”Like she wasn’t all here. I seen me some drunk people in my life, and I recognize someone who isn’t all here.” Fathala understood. Probably bewitched with the bane. Gods know what he has done to her. “He was not speaking our language, that much I know, and he always kept a sailorsbag with him. Even if the two just went out to look around town and returned within the hour.” The bane! Couldn’t control her without it. “When Jeff here asked to many questions, they left.” Thanking he woman Fathala bowed and turned for the door. “Where are going to go now?” Jeff was at her side within moments. “Which gate did he turn to?” “Listen, here are three gates to this city, one leads up to the sanctuary of the gods, a simple chapel overlooking the town, one other is the one you came on, did you meet him there? No, I didn’t think so. Leaves,” “Two.” Fathala stemmed her hands on her hips stopping abruptly. “Where did he go?” They just assumed he went down! Idiots! “He left in the middle of the night, we,” “You don’t know, do you?” Jeff shook his head. “You send someone to he sanctuary, right away.” she barked turning northward to the other gate. “Tell your sentries that I will be flying out and in again, so they won’t lose their bolts at me.” she hissed leaving. Jeff nodded, a hint of fear showed on his face as he hurried off. Grey rocks glistened wetly beneath Fathala. Flung from.the northern gatehouse she had covered most of the narrow path, but no sign of Leif or Whlana. Even if they took the path, it has been two days, they ought to be off the path by now. At the lowest camp site on the northern path she had found remnants of a fire, but it was as cold as could be, probably a day old. From there she had glanced down the path in hopes to see some sort of activity, but nothing moved, other than a hawk, some rodents and a few adventurous pigeons and gulls. The grey in grey landscape and overcast made it a strain on her eyes. Again she flung herself into the air from.the ledge. If Leif was wise, he used greay cloaks with hoods to cover himself and Whlana.Or he hid in sanctuary. Fathala mused gaining altitude to return to Fallhus so she could be certain. Maybe the bane holds secrets he learned during his visit to the other world? He might be around, but concealed himself from our view? Sometimes she knew a thought wasn’t entirely her own, and Eric’s thoughts oft used the plural. We’ll find him my love. I swear it. The walls of the gatehouse were trickling with little streams of water, rainwater from the roof instead the otherwise omnipresent waterfall. Tall and grey, covered with lichen and mosses, it seemed almost as if the unmortared stone grew back onto the mountain from which had been hewn to build the structure. An eerie silence hung over it as Fathala approached. To be on the safe side she had landed on the narrow path and continued the last hundred meters on ground. Yet, shehad knocked the heav oaken door, yelled to the guard, with no effect. Shift change? Minutes crawled by with not a sound from the gatehouse, no guard appeared to stand watch outside. Half an hour passed since she had arrived. “Do not be alarmed, I am.not hostile, yet I will come up now!” she coiled up, propelled herself upwards and began her further ascend until she on top of the gatehouse. It was an unpleasant experience, the roofs were studded wih tiny spikes, designed with the.purpose of giving discomfort to anyone who lands on the roof, or climbs on it. Fathala’s worries grew as no one tried to apprehend her, yet the town clearly showed signs of life, the lanterns and lamps were all lit. Smell of cooked meals drifted out of the tunnel alleyways. However, there was no one to be seen. Alleys, narrows, tunnels, windows the main road and the battlements – deserted. Gently she touched the talisman underneath her blouse, reassured that her powers would work she jumped down behind the gatehouse, alert that something was awry.

War Journal – 1 Swift Wings (ep24)

She knew very well the traditions of the pole, but he wasn’t there, nutritional soil wasn’t scarce, and his skull wouldn’t remain where she’d have put it. “Fallhus.” Eric of Reedheim had shown up two days after Eric’s nautic funeral. Immediately the Naga had spread the word all throughout the regions around the sweetwater sea, after the remains of the imperial Ambassador and his attaché had been found. “A stranger and an Albin woman were spotted at Fallhus.” he had barely stepped off his boat, recognizing Fathala from their encounter at Reedheim he immediately reported what he knew. “We have sent out pigeons, and got message back.” Fallhus. He is fast. Fallhus is difficult to reach. Winding up the side of a rocky mountain a narrow track barely broad enough for one man alone cut through the porous rock. She had heard stories of the village, but never actually seen it. On any other town she might have chosen to fly to, but Fallhus was on a single mountain, and known for rigorous defences against Naga flying in, no matter the time of year. The people of Fallhus obviously did not want to mate with Naga, although their neighbors were non lethal in their amorous pursuits.She hoped to be granted access to the town if she came by land. Besides, if Leif came down her way, she surely wouldn’t miss him.But the path was deserted, all through the night, no other traveler, not one camp at the three campsites set up along the path. There was fourth one ahead, she’d reach it around noon, before the final ascend to Fallhus. Fallhus. Weird name. Sounds like Phallus. Of course she knew it was named for the waterfall that ran through the town, open canals channeld the water that came down the mountain through the homes and streets, to the edge of the rock, where it continued to tumble down. Who had founded it and why at such exotic a location was unbeknownst to her, and the Naga as well the people in Reedheim and ither villages and towns around the sea. Perhaps the locals know. But I want to know what they know of Leif.And Whlana. Fathala’s jaws tightened. It had been a day until she was found missing. At first they considered her a casualty as well, until reports trickled in that she was seen with Leif in the masshall, drinking wine and talking. Somehow his words have corrupted her. The fourth and final campsite was abandoned like the others. Or the voice that corrupts him has corrupted her too. She still thought of Leif as partially innocent. Perhaps it was Eric’s thoughts and memory left in her.Scratching at her scales the rocks on the ground were unforgiving if scaled wrongly, yet they were treacherously unstable if too much weight was put on the wrong ones. Numerous graves flanked the path. How the people of Fallhus maintained commerce was baffling to her. I reckon it’s mining. Distinctly a thought from Eric. A gentle smile appeared on Fathala’s lips. It was almost as if she could still talk to him. “Who goes there?” the Norser who stood guard at the gatehouse was clad in armor. A small crossbow was hanging from his belt, a shortsword on the other side. In his hand a lance. “Hear me!” she stopped. “I am Fathala Sash’nohan, of the sweetwater Naga from Naga’na. I seek no quarrel with you or your people, but a man from afar! He is a murderer and that of his own kin. He is accompanied by an Albin woman, Whlana!” the guard stared at her in disbelief. All of the men in Fallhus knew what a Naga looked like. Since the preparations against the Sphinxes’ return began, they also had learned that the Naga from the sweetwater sea were not deadly. But in none of the reports, telltales and rumours had he heard of a Naga in clothes. From time to time they felt wrong on her, but since she had spent more and more time linked mentally with Eric she had adopted a liking for them. Since she was not about to take a swim she saw no reason to take them off. “We had a pigeon telling of you. You are to let in.” he shook his head in disbelief. A dressed Naga. The dangerous erotic aura around them seemed destroyed at the thought and sight of that.Alleys paved with glazed blue tiles opened up behind the gate. To the right a thigh high wall of grey stone protected against the depth, to the left the rock of the mountain continued on fora short while, before opening into an alley. A tunnel really, but paved. Upon peeking inside Fathala saw further openings, oil lanterns spending calm orange light from the walls. Farther on the alleys going off to her left became open, the buildings for shops, and homes, were carved from.the rock, decorated with glazed tiles, depicting trees, vines and fields of green. Out of every house came a ditch bringing out water. As far as she could see, every home had a fresh water supply, and due to the nature of water a continuous drainage for the household mess. A peaceful silence, bordering on being eerie, filled the alleys. Only muffled came noises of a living town to the ear. Life in Fallhus was taking place inside the mountain. Every five meters a small tower raised up on the seaside of the town, at least two armed guards in them. The supply of bolts for their crossbows was immense as Fathala managedto spy through a partly open door at one point. “Are you the one looking for the stranger?” a guard stopped in front of Fathala. “I am.” “Follow me then.”The guard led her down an alley that was bit wider than the path she had come up on, past a store with bakery, the supplies in the shelves inside almost gone, but the smells told of fresh good in the making. Another across the alley and ten meters deeper into the alley had salted meat and fish on sale. “The two tried to book a room in the inn. The woman kept mumbling about a light that had to outshine the sun, and that our town was ideal.” the guard pointed at the inn in question. A three storey building, facing the last open it of the alley before it became a tunnel, lower than two storeys. It displayed wall decor of wine, hops and barley. No doubt advertising he alcoholic beverages served inside. “Because of her mutterings the guards became aware of them and as they investigated he led her away and they left town two days ago.”

“Do you know if he had a bag, or sack, with him, about this size?” she showed the size of the bane, at least the size she remembered of it. “As I was the one charged with the investigation I can confirm that he has. Sadly the pigeon didn’t tell that he was a kin murderer. We would’ve incarcerated him then.” You would’ve failed. He is a trained knight of the.order and he has the bane. “I will find him.” he vowed. The guard led her inside the Inn. Tables stood in the crevices of running water, the stools to.the tables on dry ground. From the back wall came the stench of feces and urin, diluted by massive amounts of water, from.the left hand wall fumes of freshly cooked meals, wine and brew drifted into the room.Oil lamps hung from the walls filling the common room with warm orange light. “Keep!” the guard yelled to a homely woman behind the stone window to the kitchens. “Guard!” she yelled back, sporting a huge amused smile. “She’s my aunt, made my investigations easier.” he boasted.

War Journal – 1 Swift Wings (ep23)

Suspiciously Eric squinted his eyes at Leif. “What way?” “We allow them through, but,” he raised his hand to pause the storm of protest that built up and lingered in Eric’s mind. “not to this world. While I was in the other place I learned that the Dragons there brought life, not death, we just have to bring the deadly Dragons to an already dead world and the life giving ones to this world!” Leif felt his fathers disapproval and disappointment almost like a tangible thing. “No.” that single harshly spoken word cut Leif like a knife. Enraged Leif turned his face away, tears of anger burned in his eyes. He knew that Eric would react that way. Yelling a shout of anger he jumped towards his father, was repelled by an invisible force, thrown back on his hind quarter. “Have I truly raised a turncloak?” in his hand a sphere of liquid fire appeared. Did the Naga pass on her magic to him? “I did well to powers from you, if it suited you, you would’ve turned your comrades on me. Only now you betray them as well as me.” He hid those powers all this time? Did he manage to steal them away from me, so I couldn’t inherit the gift? More anger and hatred built up in Leif.”You stubborn old fool.” Leif’s voice was reduced to a hateful hiss. “It was my plan to find women for our people. A brilliant idea! You and the order both agreed on that, so why do you think my plan is foolish now? Why did you make it seem that everything I had said and done since we departed was foolish?” the hilt of his dagger filled his hand. It was a reassuring touch. Not only that it still was with him, but also that he had something to attack Eric with, as he had the magic. “Because so many things you’ve said were folly! You’re still young, thus unwise.” the fire in Eric’s hand flickered. Now!Warmth engulfed Leif’s hand, trickled down his wrist and forearm. Ruby red warmth, soaked up by his sleeve.The fire in Eric’s hand died out. “I didn’t want to believe the ambassadors.” he sighed, watching his blood ooze out of him along the dagger in his stomach, gushing out as Leif yanked his blade free with a turn.”I love you. Although we’ve known each other only for a short time, we shared everything. I love you.”A scream of utter despair and pain filled the tent, Oshun rushed to the young Naga to support her, as she seemed to fall over. Within a heartbeat Lillian caught on. “Where?” “Bane.” was all Fathala could say, pressed through her teeth between breaths. Hastily the Succubi rushed off, Farlyn in her wake. “Come to me! My beloved, I beg of you, come to me!” there wa sno reply. What ever hadn’t already been left in her mind of Eric didn’t come join her. An immense sadness joined her pain and grief. Another agonized scream left her lips.I’m dead! I can’t believe it. What was left of Eric in her mind sent confusion into the storm of emotions inside Fathala. Infuriated the Naga slithered out of the tent, coiled up and sprung herself into the air where she took flight. Guided by the startled shrieks of the Phoenix’s she flew to the top of the pyramid. The clouds of golden shimmering light were gone she noticed, below her Farlyn ascended the steps, before she saw that Lillian had, had the same idea she had. The Succubus had flewn to the pyramidtop.”Don’t!” she turned, losing her cloak. Trying to obstruct her view. Flickering light from the torches on the pillars made shadows dance lightly on the Succubi’s skin, Fathala had not realized that they were there on her previous visits to the bane, as they were outshone by the bane. Sprawled in a pool of blood wa sthe tall man Fathala had lost her heart to. For the blink of an eye she felt as if she looked in the mirror, doubtful she touched herself where the wound gaped in Eric’s body. I felt it. “The bane has been taken!” Lillian shouted down to Farlyn, who already knew by the missing mists of golden light. Tears in her eyes Fathala got down to Eric, gently stroking his cheek and fuzzing his hair. The sadness in his expression told her all she needed to know. Leif. My boy, what have you done? “Word from below is that the imperial ambassador and his attaché are gone.” Farlyn gasped for air upon reaching the top. “They’ll be floating in the sea, or rather below the waves.” Fathala rose. “Leif had done this and seen to their disappearance, to throw us off his tracks.” for a moment she thought the young knight would reappear any time, to tell them he had nothing to do with it, but he didn’t show up. “I’m wearing a rather dismal expression, it was him.” she said, unaware that she spoke of Eric as herself. Either the Succubi and the hermaphrodite chose to ignore it or they overheard it. Morning’s crisp air parted before Fathala, just as the water had three days past when she had given Eric to the waves. Although she had wanted to follow Leif, not knowing where he went had put an end to that. Instead she had washed Eric, meditated, while the Albin prayed, the humans expressed their condolences after a short prayer, the fungals had as well, and the florals in the camp had pointed to a large willow as his resting place, so he’d be with the ancestors. But that wasn’t the Naga way. Nor were the ideas of the other races. Humans wanted to either burn him or bury him. Albin would burn hom and scatter the ashes in the woods. The fungals would lay him in a damp dark cave for mold and other fungi to consume him. No. The waves were our destiny. Consumed by the waters that gave life to me.